Turco-Sogdian Documents from 9th-10th Century Dunhuang.

Author:Raschmann, Simone-Christiane
Position:Book review

Turco-Sogdian Documents from 9th-10th Century Dunhuang. By NICHOLAS SIMS-WlLLlAMS and JAMES HAMILTON. Translated by NICHOLAS SIMS-WILLIAMS, with an appendix by WEN XIN. Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum, pt. II, vol. III/3. London: SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES, 2015. Pp. 120, 50 pi. [pounds sterling]40.

The first edition of the Turco-Sogdian Documents from 9th-10th Century Dunhuang was published in co-operation between Nicholas Sims-Williams and James Hamilton already in 1990 in French under the title Documents turco-sogdiens du IXe-Xe siecle de Touen-houng (short title: DTS). The amount of interest with which this publication was met can be clearly shown by the numerous published reviews in almost all relevant scientific journals. (1) The French edition is now long out of print. When one of the authors himself, namely Nicholas Sims-Williams, undertook the project of preparing a second edition, it became immediately clear that it would result in more than just an English translation.

Since the French edition was broadly reviewed by acknowledged experts, I will limit myself here to remarks on the new additional parts.

In his usual clear, concise manner Sims-Williams explains in his Preface to the English Edition (p. 9) the changes, improvements, and additions to the French edition on hand.

The change in the transcription of the Chinese characters from the French system into pinyin is first of all due to the English language of the new edition, but it is also highly appreciated because of its adoption as an international standard.

When a translation appears twenty-five years after the first edition, it goes without saying progress in research has taken place and that those improvements and additions have to be indicated in the new publication. That is especially true in the field of Sogdian studies. Numerous publications providing new materials (2) as well as presenting new results in the study of the language of the written sources have become available

in the meantime. Sims-Williams himself and Yutaka Yoshida published profound studies on "Turco-Sogdian" (French: "turco-sogdien"), a term first introduced in DTS for "a type of late Sogdian under strong Turkish influence" (Preface, p. 9; Introduction, pp. 11-14).

Documents naturally form a rich source for the onomasticon. The personal names attested in the DTS were studied in the framework of the "Iranisches Personennamenbuch" in the fascicle "Personal Names in Sogdian texts" by Pavel...

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